Summer Sessions: Closing
On August 17, we will reconvene for one final session. Together we will reflect on what emerged during Summer Sessions and what we should carry forward into the ICA’s future work—in particular to the exhibition Commonwealth (working title). That project is a collaboration with colleagues in two other commonwealths—Philadelphia Contemporary (Pennsylvania) and Beta-Local (San Juan, Puerto Rico)—and will unfold across all three sites in fall 2020.
Saturday, August 17 //
Public Session + Closing Party, 1–6 pm
Open to the Public
1–2:15 pm | What happened at Summer Sessions? Review + Discussion
Reporting and reflections on Summer Sessions led by Duron Chavis (facilitator, Natural Resources and Built Environment) and Rebecca Keel (facilitator, Assembly and Public Domain), with Luis Vasquez, David Riley, Noah Simblist, and Stephanie Smith.
2:30–4:30 pm | Workshop
The Conciliation Project offers a theater-based workshop to move through themes, issues, and emotions that emerged during Summer Sessions. Key ideas will be collectively distilled to carry forward. Led by Tawnya Pettiford-Wates (associate professor of theater at VCUarts) and co-facilitators. The Conciliation Project is a creative social justice organization based in Richmond that works to eliminate racial and cultural stereotypes to move toward a more just and equal world.
Limited space; RSVP Encouraged
4:30–6 pm | Celebration
Closing reception with refreshments, DJ Rattan, and cash bar.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, RichmondDuron Chavis is an activist and urban gardener who currently serves as the Manager of Community Engagement at The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. While working at The Black History Museum, he founded Happily Natural Day, a festival focused on natural hair, holistic health, and black awareness, now in its 15th year. In 2009, he started the Richmond Noir Market, a farmer’s market targeting food deserts in low-income communities. His work currently focuses on addressing topics of urban agriculture and local food systems in an innovative and culturally relevant way. As part of “Summer Sessions” at the ICA, he will be hosting weekly activities around the themes of Natural Resources (June 18-June 23) and Built Environment (June 25-30).
duronchavis.com // duronchavis
Rebecca KeelRebecca Keel is a community organizer, facilitator, and local advocate. With a background in youth justice, campaigns, strategic community engagement, and conflict resolution, they have a longstanding history of advancing a liberation-focused agenda in Richmond. Rebecca graduated from VCU in 2013 with a dual degree in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and Psychology, then again in 2016 with a Masters of Clinical Social Work. Rebecca ran for city council at the age of 24, and has been involved for many years with grassroots organizations such as Justice RVA, RISE for Youth, and Southerners on New Ground (SONG). Her work focuses on issues of prison reform, police accountability, and disability rights, among others. They received the VCU School of Social Work Social Justice Award in 2016. As part of “Summer Sessions” at the ICA, they will be hosting weekly activities around the themes of Assembly (July 9-13) and Public Domain (July 16-21).
www.riseforyouth.org // www.southernersonnewground.org // @campaign_mama
Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, Ph.D.
The Conciliation ProjectDr. Pettiford-Wates, affectionately known as Dr. T, is a playwright, director, actor, poet, writer and Associate Professor in the Theatre Department at VCU. She is the founder and artistic director of The Conciliation Project, a non-profit social justice theatre company whose mission is “to promote through active and challenging dramatic work open and honest dialogue about racism and oppression in America in order to repair its damaging legacy.” Her directing credits include A Raisin in the Sun, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the rainbow is enuf, A Streetcar Named Desire, and most recently An Octoroon, which premiered in May 2019 at TheatreLAB. As part of the Summer Sessions “Assembly” week at the ICA, she will lead a workshop exploring how theatre operates as a tool for social change.
VCU Department of African American StudiesDr. Chioke I’Anson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of African American Studies at VCU, and the Voice of Underwriting for NPR newscasts and digital downloads. His fifteen year radio journey has included airtime as a DJ and showrunner at college and community radio, a contributor to Kelley Libby’s AIR: Localore project UnMonumental, and a producer at BackStory with the American History Guys. He also develops programs that use technology to serve education, with a focus on Africana thought and contemporary art. A philosopher by training, he is thinking a lot these days about the educational potential of podcasts, and also the uses of horror for thinking through anxiety and racism. He is an avid motorcyclist and radio producer.